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Poachers Get Eaten Alive By Six Lions on Sibuya Game Reserve

South Africa shelters around 80% of the rhino population of the world. 29,500 rhinos hover on Earth at present, with only 2 female northern white rhinos left as of March 2018, and the 2017 poaching statistics showing a decline in the rhino population by 1,028 rhinos. Nestled in the Eastern Cape on the Sunshine Coast is the Sibuya Game Reserve, a beautiful private reserve that supports one of the highest wildlife densities in South Africa. So the fact that poachers are attracted by such a vast diversity of animals in this reserve is not really surprising.

What sparks the poachers’ desires in Sibuya is the rhino horn. Used in traditional Chinese medicine, rhino horns are also used to show off one’s social status and wealth. These features ensure that the horn is always in high demand, especially in Southeast Asia, with bids going upto as much as $100,000 for every 2 pounds or 1 kilogram. This means that since each rhino horn weighs around two to seven pounds, a poacher can easily earn $300,000 on selling a single horn. By putting a white rhino horn up for sale on the South African black market, a poacher can make upto $3000 per pound.

Nick Fox, the owner of the reserve, stated that the lions attacked the poachers sometime between the evening of 1st July and early in the morning on 2nd July. It has not been possible to surmise the exact number of poachers killed, for what was left of their remains after the lions ate them alive was really very little, leaving nothing for the investigators to go upon. According to Fox, barring a bit of a pelvis and a skull, there was no sign of anything else.

However, the three sets of shoes and gloves made the investigators suspect that there must’ve been at least three men. Typical groups of rhino poachers also contain three members.

Fox said that around 4:30 AM on the 2nd of July, one of the dogs on the reserve started barking and its handler reported having heard some sort of commotion from among the lions. But as this had become a routine thing on the reserve, nobody bothered to investigate further.

On 3rd July at 4:30 PM, one of the field guides suddenly came upon the remains surrounded by blood, and notified the Anti-Poaching Unit and the police immediately. When these people arrived, they found an axe, a wire-cutter, a high-powered rifle with a silencer, and gear scattered here and there in the immediate vicinity of the lions. The wire-cutter led them to guess that there had been rhino poachers about. A helicopter was brought in to search for any possible survivors across the wide terrain of 30 square kilometers in Sibuya, but to no avail.

Along with the aforesaid items, the tattered remains of a backpack containing food and water were also found, leading Fox to believe that the poachers had come with the intention of killing rhinos and removing their horns. There may very well have been more than three of them.

Though Fox admitted that this incident was sad, he also hoped that this news would be a warning to all the poachers out there and put a stop to their illegal activities, saying that the lions had been the guardians of the rhinos in this case.

Poachers Get Eaten Alive By Six Lions on Sibuya Game Reserve Poachers Get Eaten Alive By Six Lions on Sibuya Game Reserve Reviewed by Tim on May 30, 2019 Rating: 5


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